China: The United States Has ‘Launched a Trade War’

Donald Trump in China

Donald Trump in China , The Canadian Press

US President Donald Trump yesterday announced 25 percent tariffs targeting US$50 billion of Chinese imports, making good on a pledge to punish the alleged theft of US intellectual property. A truce was announced in May, but it proved short-lived.

Those could come if China would impose new tariffs on USA goods, services, agricultural products, or raise non-tariff barriers, and take actions against American or companies operating in China, according to the statement. Lu added China is taking this action "to fight back forcefully, to firmly safeguard the interests of the nation and its people and uphold economic globalization and the multilateral trading system".

"We will immediately take tariff measures of the same scale and intensity".

Beijing also said "all economic and trade agreements reached by previous negotiations will be nullified at the same time". Officials said the list of products does not include common consumer products, such as cell phones and TVs.

A Wall Street Journal report warned that the United States decision could become the start of a tit-for-tat series of retaliatory moves. And they will start on the same day.

The Chinese government said the tariffs were damaging relations and China's offer to buy up to $70 billion of additional American products was invalid.

The implementation date for imposing additional tariffs on the remaining 114 items will be announced later. The list was slimmed down, dropping Chinese flat-panel television sets and other items typically purchased by consumers, following a public comment period.

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Trump released a statement on the new tariffs, calling them a retaliation against Chinese intellectual property graft.

In a statement Friday morning, the president said the tariffs were necessary to prevent "unfair transfer of American technology and intellectual property to China".

President Donald Trump welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago state in Palm Beach, Florida.

Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments, called the tariffs "a significant escalation of the trade war" and warned that there were four primary outcomes from the increasing tensions.

"Today's USA action is generally market negative because investors likely see the United States imposing tariffs as increasing somewhat the risk of a full-on trade war, as we do", wrote Evercore ISI analyst Terry Haines in a Friday note.

Growth forecasts for major economies are already being slashed due to the rise of protectionism.

Other countries are also anxious about the world markets, as Germany's central bank cut its forecast on Friday. "He understands it's unfair", Mr. Trump said on "Fox & Friends". All have promised to hit back.

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